Americans Let Nearly $34.3 Billion In Vacation Days Slip Away In 2011

A recent study has concluded that Americans in 2011 spent more time at work and less time vacationing. According to the survey by travel site Expedia, American workers earned 14 vacation days on average in 2011 but only used 12 of them, leaving behind the equivalent of $34.3 billion hours worth of vacation hours.

Two days of unused time may not seem like a lot but when you consider according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics that it totals 226 million unused vacation days- that’s a lot of time lost at resorts, theme parks and other tourist based destinations that require visitors to make ends meet.

The $34 billion number was estimated by realizing that the average worker earns $39,416 each year.

When asked in the survey why they did not travel many respondents said they couldn’t afford the luxury, while others said they “lacked the planning” necessarily to head out for a vacation.

With many Americans worried about a weakened economy that has caused a loss of jobs many experts have said insecurity had a major part in the decision to skip the extra hours away from work.

While the Expedia survey showed just 2 days unused a similar survey released by Hotwire has shown that Americans were leaving 6.2 days on paid vacation unused each year.

In a statement about their own results Hotwire Group president Clem Bason revealed:

“Too many Americans are getting caught up in their everyday routine and are either forgetting to use their vacation or assuming travel for the remainder of the year is too expensive.”

In yet a further study JetBlue found that Americans were giving up 11 days this year.

While it’s hard to determine which study is correct there is a general consensus among travel surveys that vacation days are going unused even when they are earned, oftentimes as workers take on larger workloads to make up for their fired co-workers.

Did you use all of your vacation time this year? What motivated your decision?

[Image via ShutterStock.com]